Organizations that prioritize extreme gender ideology over a proper education in America's schools have gained tremendous ground in the past decade. Through consultation services and training programs, these organizations have captivated administrators and teachers in our education system in an effort to influence the next generation of Americans.
Many of these organizations, such as the Human Rights Campaign and GLSEN, already have a high profile among the media and Americans who support parental rights. However, one equally dangerous organization that has seemingly avoided scrutiny is Gender Spectrum. It needs to be better known.
Despite collaborations with celebrities as famous as Miley Cyrus and Cher, Gender Spectrum has avoided the limelight and the scrutiny that comes with it. The organization targets young children with radical gender ideology that would have been unthinkable not long ago. The organization promotes and hosts online chatrooms for children as young as 10 who identify as "trans" and "non-binary."
Gender Spectrum additionally offers consulting services for schools, teachers, and any other organization willing to listen, and provides training for teachers to incorporate this gender ideology into their lesson plans. These training sessions include developing "a core understanding of gender terminology and concepts" and providing "an overview of strategies for implementing gender-inclusive approaches." The organization will even provide schools and educators with "proven lesson plans and materials" for classroom teaching.
In a document Gender Spectrum created to promote "gender-inclusive puberty and health education," the organization supports "puberty blockers" to help children transition to another gender. Gender Spectrum explains that "a percentage of transgender young people will utilize medical support, including puberty blockers, to go through pubertal development that is consistent with their gender." Considering people go through puberty only once, this medical intervention can do irreversible damage to the bodies of young children.
Gender Spectrum's efforts to push gender ideology into classrooms go back 20 years. The organization's website explains that it started in 2002 when transgender activist Stephanie Brill began to work "with families of gender-expansive children and the trainings of the professionals who worked with these children in different capacities." The first training sessions were "for local elementary and pre-schools that transgender and gender-expansive children were attending" in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The organization continues to explain that Brill "started the first conference for families raising gender diverse children and teens" in 2007. Gender Spectrum was officially "incorporated as a 501(c)(3)" that same year.
Brill followed this by co-authoring "The Transgender Child" with fellow activist Rachel Pepper in 2008. Simon & Schuster describes the book as "the most trusted source of information for families wanting to understand and affirm their transgender, gender-expansive, or nonbinary child." Brill still serves as the chair of Gender Spectrum's Board of Directors.
Brill's work has been insidiously successful as schools throughout America are increasingly using Gender Spectrum to promote radical gender ideology to children as part of their curricula.
A middle school in California's Lafayette School District used videos from Gender Spectrum for the sexual education curriculum taught to students. These videos consist of one student explaining that not everyone is "a male or a female" and another student claiming to be pansexual.
What started in San Francisco has now seeped into the Midwest. Other districts that rely on Gender Spectrum include the Metropolitan School District of Washington Township in Indiana and the Eau Claire Area School District in Wisconsin.
The goal of Gender Spectrum since its inception was to infiltrate institutions that focus on children. Brill said in a 2011 interview that "all it takes is education and guidelines" to change the way children view gender. "At Gender Spectrum, we've worked with so many teachers, schools and children that I feel comfortable vouching for the fact that today's kids are ready for changes in how we see gender."
That was more than a decade ago. In 2022, Gender Spectrum board member Anoosh Jorjorian openly promotes a "gay agenda" on Twitter.
Parents have valid reasons to worry about what schools are teaching their children. Part of the solution to correcting the course of America's education system is determining the root of the problem.
Political organizations with an agenda to influence impressionable children at school are a problem that parents must confront if they want to reclaim the right to raise their own children. While major organizations like the Human Rights Campaign and GLSEN pose a serious threat to parental rights, we must not ignore the clout of organizations like Gender Spectrum that seem to fly under the radar.
Casey Ryan is a staff writer at Parents Defending Education.